A short story on, “How the hell do you NOT know that?”
So, I work with someone. That someone will remain nameless. This someone in question is a person who I would consider typical enough; seems to watch sports, keeps up to date on current events, and typically knows the gist of what is going on.
In other words, they don’t live under a rock.
The other day my co-worker and I came to the startling realization that he did not know the following references:
- The ring of Mordor- the one ring to rule them all. What it is and why it was important
- Who ‘7 of 9’ from the Star Trek series played by Jerry Ryan or a Borg was.
- Who “Freddy Krueger” was, and what he looked like.
Earlier in the day/week the person had asked my co-worker why he had a drawing of a ‘ring’ on his cubicle. It was something I had drawn for him because he is a huge LOTRs fan. Later that same day or the next I made a casual observation about this person a) walking around with a cordless ear piece with a blinking light reminding me of being a Borg and b) the persons shirt also made me think of Freddy Krueger’s stripped shirt, though not the same pattern/color and generally speaking is just a case of my own weird stream of consciousness at play. This person had no clue what either of those references were to.
Basically in a span of 24-48 hours we discovered this person had never heard of “The One Ring,” knew what a ‘Borg’ was or had heard of ‘7 of 9’ or even recognized Jerry Ryan in her practically spray-painted leotard with embellished robot façade, but amazingly of all who or what Freddy Krueger was or represented.
Now if you aren’t into fantasy or sci-fi, I suppose, I could understand how someone would have not known about the first two. Though I have to wonder, with all the “one ring to rule them all” and any other Hobbit/Wizard, smoking ‘pipe weed,’ Orlando Bloom is the most gorgeous (male) ELF in the world social references? Did he just chuckle and pretend to get a joke if someone did reference LOTRs?
Sure, if you aren’t into sci-fi, I guess you wouldn’t know what a BORG was, but all those “Resistance is Futile” comments people the world over make in any number of other social context- more stunted chuckles of pretend Oh, yeah I get it.
How, I ask you, could someone as a young adult during the 80’s not possibly know or recognize Freddy Krueger? I even sang the little song, “one-two Freddy’s coming for you, three-four better lock the door, five-six get your crucifix, seven-eight stay up late…”
It’s little unfair because I have this weird knack of seeing/hearing something and it will lock in my memory to erupt later when needed. I’m not saying I’m smart, I’m saying I’m a hoarder of useless trivia and visual images. That stupid song for example? I heard that from a friend like 3 times when I was a kid and once when I saw the original movie in my late twenties. I never saw the movies, I knew they would give me nightmares. But, you know what? I KNEW who Freddy Krueger was, I knew he had a glove of knives, was horrible, and killed you in your dreams.
So, I had to ask myself, what would you have to be doing to not know who Freddy Kreuger was?
I came up with the following scenario: This person is walking down the boulevard, feeling go-lucky, has to run some errands, when he passes by the local mall movie theatre (you know, when they were in malls and not giant stand alone monstrosities), and passes by one of the movie posters.
Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a guy wearing a Fedora and thinks to himself, “Wow, that new Indiana Jones movie looks like it’s going to be a bomb. Note to self: Don’t buy movie ticket.”
Decades pass and he forever thinks it was that movie that horribly ruined the Indiana Jones saga, long before Crystal Skulls, and can’t understand why so many people lament Crystal Skulls with Shia Le-buffs-2-much and aliens when the franchise died for him so long ago.